I've been a little obsessed with Brazilian food lately. It started with a great cookbook I found in a second-hand book shop and in the search for perfection,resulted in about 50 versions of the street food staple, Acarajé. Made with black-eyed beans, rolled into balls, deep-fried and stuffed with caramelised onions, prawns ( shrimp ) and served with a spicy red pepper and tomato salsa. A moreish snack to drink with icy cold beer or my version of a batidas, a fruity cocktail that usually has coconut milk, cashew nut juice, condensed milk and cachaça, the sugar cane based spirit found in the famous caipirinha. You'll need a blender.
100 mls cachaça, or good vodka if you can't find cachaça
1 big, fat, ripe alphonso/ Bowen mango, chopped
1 ripe banana, sliced
250 mls coconut milk, not coconut cream
100 mls of passionfruit juice
1 lime, juiced
handful of dried acai berries
1 cup of chipped ice
Put the ice, mango and banana in blender and whiz until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients, whiz again adding more passionfruit juice if too thick. Serves 2 or 1 twice, if it's been a long day...
Acarajé are traditionally fried in dende oil, a bright orange oil made from the pulp of the fruit of the oil palm.I'm not a fan of palm oil. Palm oil production plays a huge part in deforestation and the loss of natural habitats for many already endangered species across the globe. And I don't really like the taste to be honest. I substitute vegetable or rapeseed oil. Use palm oil if you wish, look for brands from sustainable sources.
2 400 gram cans of black-eyed beans, drained and rinsed or approx 500 grams of dried, soaked overnight and cooked until soft
1 onion finely diced
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
1 chilli, de-seeded and chopped, I use a bird's eye chilli cos I like the heat but a mild red chilli is great too
a little flour
salt and pepper
Oil for frying
Put all the ingredients, except the flour, in a food processor or use a bowl and a stick blender, and blend until combined. Add a spoonful of flour, mix andcheck seasoning. Beans love salt.
Form into golf ball-sized shapes and chill while you make the filling.
1 large onion, peeled and sliced finely
150 grams of prawns/shrimps
salt and pepper
oil for frying
Splash of oil in a frying pan and cook the onion slowly until golden brown and caramelised, takes about 20 minutes, half an hour. Set aside.
1 red pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 large tomato, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
half a teaspoon of chopped chilli
2 tablespoons of chopped coriander
1 tablespoon of olive oil
juice of 2 limes
pinch of sugar
pinch of salt
Mix together and chill.
Putting it together - Heat about 5cm of oil in a wide pan to medium. In a separate pan, saute the prawns until just cooked, add the caramelised onions and heat through, season.
Cook the fritters until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes a side. Drain on kitchen paper, split through the middle, fill with prawn mixture and serve with salsa.
Love Food X